Social Studies Education

Social studies teacher in front of class teaching high school students
  • Program Type
  • Degrees Offered
  • School
    Liffrig Family School of Education and Behavioral Sciences, School of Arts & Sciences

Explore how humans form groups, construct societies, and reconcile differences. Prepare for a teaching career rooted in multiple disciplines.

What You’ll Learn

Colleges of Distinction Education Seal

You’ll be introduced to a wide range of areas, including history, economics, political science, geography, anthropology, sociology, and psychology, to prepare for teaching social studies to students in grades five to twelve. Explore the concepts of critical teacher preparation and develop classroom skills through a curriculum that combines theoretical and practical approaches to social studies education.

Enhance your leadership skills.

Participate in an educational leadership conference and the Emerging Leaders Academy, a four-year program in educational leadership.

Engage in collaborative research with experienced faculty.

Take part in mentoring and collaborative research activities with full-time faculty with K-12 teaching experience.

Gain practical classroom experience.

Program majors work in a social studies classroom under the supervision of an assigned teacher. The experience includes observation, teaching, and the performance of teacher-related responsibilities.

Become eligible for licensure in North Dakota.

Upon completion of the program, you’ll be eligible for North Dakota licensure for middle and high school teaching in your subject area.

Program Information

Please visit our catalog for admission requirements and a full list of our courses.


Assistant Professor and Social Studies Education Chair Karen Hooge Michalka shares what it’s like to study in Mary’s social studies education program.

Careers & Outcomes

Employment Trends

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects steady growth for middle school and high school teacher employment through 2029. Areas where middle school populations increase will experience greater demand. 

Career Paths

  • High School Social Science Teacher
  • Middle School Social Science Teacher
  • Curriculum Specialist 
  • Private Tutor
  • Researcher
  • School Administrator  

I’ve gotten to be pretty good friends with a lot of the professors because of the small classes. I’m able to go talk with them in their offices any time and go beyond the material we’re learning in class and really get to know them.

Stephanie Hauf, ’21

Featured Faculty

Karen Hooge Michalka, PhD

Assistant Professor of Sociology, Director of Social Studies Education Program

I have a deep and longstanding curiosity about the interplay between our personal experiences and opportunities, and the broader societal contexts of our lives. This interest led me to the study of sociology, a social science that studies the interplay and interactions of people, culture, social structures, and social institutions. My research focuses on the spiritual, cultural, and political adjustments that occur in the lives of immigrants to the United States, and the receptivity of the host communities. My collaborators include Bismarck Global Neighbors, the Latino Protestant Congregations Study, and the Public Religion Research Institute.

Carmen Cain, PhD

Assistant Professor of Education, Director of Secondary Education Program, Director of Licensure Track Program

Having been an educator for over 20 years now, my first priority at the University of Mary is to facilitate student learning so teacher-candidates are prepared for the joys and challenges of their own classroom. I enjoy collaborating with an excellent faculty to provide our students with the best education possible.

Take Your Next Step in Social Studies Education